Sunday, September 8, 2013

Golf5 Ladies Sunday: Yumiko Yoshida Prevails Over Miki Saiki in 4-Hole Playoff, Denying Sun-Ju Ahn's Bid for 3rd Victory in a Row

26-year-old Yumiko Yoshida got her 3rd JLPGA victory in her last 9 starts today in Hokkaido at the Golf5 Ladies--and she did it by outgunning 3 of the top golfers on tour.

Sun-Ju Ahn was shooting for her 3rd-straight JLPGA victory and 2nd successful title defense in a row and started the day going birdie-birdie to get to -9, but Yoshida responded by birdieing 2 of her 1st 3 holes to keep pace with the 13-time winner on the JLPGA.  But when their playing partner, 7-time JLPGA champion Miki Saiki, birdied the 5th and the 7th hole and 12-time winner Shiho Oyama birdied the 6th, 7th, and 8th from the group ahead of them to join Saiki at -10, it was clear we had a 4-player race for the title.

Ahn was the 1st to falter with a bogey on the 390-yard par-4 10th, but she birdied 10 and 11 to get to double digits under par.  Once again, Yoshida responded, making 2 birdies in a row herself to catch Oyama at -11.  But those proved to be the last birdies of the day for Ahn, who parred out to finish the week at -10.  Yoshida and Saiki matched birdies on the 330-yard par-4 13th to get to -12 and -11, respectively.  Oyama dropped off the pace when she bogeyed the 355-yard par-4 16th, which Saiki then birdied to tie Yoshida for the lead.  Even though Oyama birdied 17, she bogeyed 18 when she needed to birdie it, falling into a tie for 3rd with Ahn.

That left the stage clear for Yoshida's and Saiki's playoff, which lasted 4 holes and ended with a Saiki bogey.  Just like that, Yoshida had secured her 4th career JLPGA victory and moved into 2nd place on the JLPGA money list, passing Natsuka Hori and making up some serious ground on Rikako Morita, both of whom missed the cut.  In fact, with good weeks from just about everyone else in the top 10 on the money list (except Mi-Jeong Jeon and Teresa Lu), the race for the top spot has tightened up significantly.

1. Rikako Morita ¥90.57M
2. Yumiko Yoshida ¥67.29M
3. Miki Saiki ¥63.74M
4. Natsuka Hori ¥60.28M
5. Mi-Jeong Jeon ¥57.71M
6. Sun-Ju Ahn ¥55.63M
7. Sakura Yokomine ¥53.15M
8. Mamiko Higa ¥50.75M
9. Ritsuko Ryu ¥47.64M
10. Teresa Lu ¥42.12M
11. Yuki Ichinose ¥39.78M
12. Junko Omote ¥37.04M
13. Hiromi Mogi ¥36.31M
14. Onnarin Sattayabanphot ¥36.16M
15. Misuzu Narita ¥35.68M
16. Kumiko Kaneda ¥35.18M
17. Da-Ye Na ¥33.64M
18. Yukari Baba ¥31.08M
19. Bo-Mee Lee ¥30.07M
20. Na-Ri Lee ¥27.77M
21. Esther Lee ¥27.03M
22. Asako Fujimoto ¥27.03M
23. Shiho Oyama ¥26.24M
24. Mayu Hattori ¥25.88M
25. Maiko Wakabayashi ¥25.17M
26. Na-Ri Kim ¥24.89M
27. Erika Kikuchi ¥24.65M
28. Miki Sakai ¥24.03M
29. Megumi Kido ¥22.83M
30. Young Kim ¥22.36M
31. Kaori Ohe ¥22.08M
32. Soo-Yun Kang ¥21.63M
33. Yuri Fudoh ¥21.34M
34. Ji-Hee Lee ¥20.87M
35. Kaori Nakamura ¥19.84M
36. Rui Kitada ¥18.86M
37. Erina Hara ¥18.17M
38. Yuko Fukuda ¥17.14M
39. Phoebe Yao ¥16.61M
40. Eun-Bi Jang ¥16.49M
41. Harukyo Nomura ¥16.43M
42. Yuki Sakurai ¥16.23M
43. Lala Anai ¥16.15M
44. Yun-Jye Wei ¥15.66M
45. Akane Iijima ¥15.62M

Yoshida and Ahn have to be the favorites to take the JLPGA's 2nd major of 2013, the Konica Minolta Cup, next week, but they'll have to get past defending champion and LPGA rookie Chie Arimura.  They'll be overshadowed by the Evian Championship, of course, but with Tokyo getting the 2020 summer Olympics, I'm thinking golf in Japan will be getting a whole lot more attention in the coming years!

1 comment:

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